Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Resolution to Make Resolutions: The Paradox Ends Tonight!

Every year since I turned thirty, I have made the same New Year's resolution: No making of New Year's resolutions. As resolutions go, it's a pretty easy one to keep. Or not, since its paradoxical nature ensures at least a tiny rip in the delicate fabric of the space-time continuum. What can I say? I love creating small paradoxes. When I was younger, my resolutions were more mundane. Stop eating so much junk food. Exercise more. Stop pining over celebrities I have little to no chance of meeting in real life and even less chance of ensnaring with my womanly wiles.

Mel Gibson while I was undergoing puberty.

 



Mel after puberty...Resolution achieved!
 
The funny thing is, I never kept these resolutions until I stopped bothering to try. I gave up junk food one cookie and pastry at time. It wasn't a resolution made on New Year's Eve, but a decision made months later after taking a hard look in the mirror and realizing my eating habits had to change now or they never would. This point was driven home when I took a gander at my Disney vacation pics. They say the camera adds ten pounds to your picture, and the cameras at Disney World were especially generous to me. I had already given up sweets and fast food. After looking at myself in Stay Puft Marshmallow form, I made it a point to exercise daily as well. I lost fifty pounds. I've kept it off, but the stress of losing one job and acclimating myself to another has caused me to backslide a bit. It's time for a tightening of the reins and, if Dr. Mike Evans is to be believed, now is the time to do it.
 
According to Evans, New Year's resolutions are more likely to be achieved by people who "self-monitor" as opposed to those who try utilizing "self-control". This means minimizing temptation as opposed to fighting it on a daily basis. For example, if you're trying to give up drinking, don't visit your neighborhood bar expecting to win the excruciating battle between choosing a club soda over a gin and tonic. Staying out of the bar is easier. And if you're invited to a party where you know alcohol is going to be served, ask the host if there will be any "virgin" beverage options. Preparing ahead of time makes the battle so much easier to fight.
 
So what are my resolutions this year? Will I bother to make any? Yeah, I think I'll give it a shot. Here's my list:
 
1. Continue to eat healthy. I'm already doing this, but there's still room for improvement. I need to start bringing my own lunch to work since the cafeteria isn't always diet friendly. And, you know, when the meat they leave out is a weird pink color and you can't figure out what animal it came from even after you've bitten into it...probably not a good sign.
 
2. Renew my promise to exercise. I have no excuse for this one. The spa I work at has a fitness center where I can work out for free. I've been dying to use the pool and the dry sauna too. Although, the thought of me being seen in a bathing suit by my coworkers is not my idea of positive motivation.
 
3. Finish my damn novel. NaNoWriMo jump started my ass, but I haven't written much since the end of November. Maybe if I impose a minimum word limit to my day? Say, 1,000 words? Maybe I'll get it finished before the end of the year as opposed to sometime when I'm wearing Depends.
 
4. Keep up with my blog. This is one I would have actually kept if I had made it last year. For the first time since I started Doomtown, I have made at least two entries every month for the past year. No. I misspoke. It's been over a year-since November 2012, at least. Quite an achievement for someone who couldn't keep a diary for more than a week.
 
5. Spend more time with my man. This isn't about the rock he gave me. Honest. It's just that as I get older, I start to appreciate that our time on this planet is finite. No one lives for ever. Not you. Not me. Not the people we love. Best to make a point of appreciating the time we have with them now lest we regret not doing so in the future.
 
Those are my resolutions for the New Year. We'll have to wait and see if I keep any of them. And to the rest of you making resolutions, I wish you the best of luck and please remember to keep the space-time continuum intact while you're at it. We kind of need that thing.
 
*Special thanks to Gerald for pointing out that "Mel Brooks" and "Mel Gibson" are two different people. Sometimes I think I need a designated editor. Let this be a lesson to you kids out there: Write drunk. Edit Sober. 


Monday, December 30, 2013

My Yearly Christmas Battle

I've never been big on Christmas, seeing it more as an aggravating yearly ritual of guilt brought on by lack of funds for that whole gift giving thing. I am not one of those people that breaks out the big bag of goodies for every Tom, Dick, and Harry I've ever met, and I make sure to warn everyone a month in advance that if they buy for me expecting something in return, they will end up being sorely disappointed. I have an extremely small circle of people I buy for. My nephew, because I'm childless and someone has to take care of me in my old age. My step niece, because it just wouldn't be fair if I got something for my nephew but not her, and I don't want to start a war in my sister's household-at least, not one that doesn't give me some sort of perceptible advantage. My mom, because the woman birthed me and raised me and kept me in coffee and books all throughout my childhood. And if I can figure out just what the hell he wants, I'll try to buy a gift for my boyfriend. Because love and shit. Everyone else is on their own.

My high school photo. Senior year. Really.

Things were tighter than usual this year. Because of this, it was decided between me and my significant other that we wouldn't exchange gifts this year. Now, I'm not the kind of woman that says one thing and means another. If I say I'm okay with not getting gobs of presents, I'm not going to be butt-hurt if I don't find anything under the tree. So when I came home one day to find a bunch of nicely wrapped packages under the tree a week before Christmas, my first thought was, "Son-of-a-bitch! He did not just do that to me!"

I'm right there with you, Batman.
 
There I am, scrambling to find my guy a reasonably suitable gift that says, "I totally did not regift this piece of shit. Honest!" Something he could use. Something that wouldn't have him plastering a smile on his face to avoid a fight. Something that wouldn't break me financially would be nice too. D- had been getting on me for years to start a scrapbook of our relationship. I've been meaning to do it, saving bits and pieces of memorabilia of our time together and shoving it in an old box to be pasted in some book whenever I found the time. I found something suitable on Amazon and had it express delivered. He had also mentioned wishing I had some David Arkenstone to listen to whenever I gave him a massage. I ordered the album he wanted on iTunes, no delivery necessary. I bought him a Best Buy gift card and a Christmas card. I even tried to get our friend James (AKA, Brandon Black) to wheedle some info out of him, hoping to find out what anime he was interested in buying. I did this knowing that whatever I got for him, it couldn't compare to anything he would give me. Because my man is ALL about the holidays. Christmas is his favorite time of year. He loves to see the look on my face when I open a gift that he probably hocked a kidney to buy me. Year after year, he always tops himself. It's infuriating. And he's probably running out of organs.

But this year, he screwed up. Oh, he out-gifted me alright, but he won't have such an easy time of things when he tries to outdo himself next year. If he won the lotto and bought me a small island, it wouldn't top the gift he gave me a few days ago.

Bling, bitches!

That's right. That is THE RING. We haven't set a date, but hopefully sometime next year I will be changing my last name and forcing some unfortunate women to march behind me wearing the ugliest dresses possible. I'm getting hitched to a man that is far better than I am. A man that is much, much better than I deserve. You can't top that...

And now that I've said that, I just realized...I'm still childless.

Fucking Santa Claus!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Another Marathon? Seriously?

Marathons suck. Hear me out on this one.

I work in New Orleans most of the week, and one of the things I hate about working in the city is having to pay for parking. The hotel I work at charges its employees six dollars a day for this privilege. Six bucks doesn't seem like much of an expense, but it adds up, and it's still money I could be spending on books or the Catching Fire Blu-ray when it comes out.

Note to Santa: Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge.

Another thing I hate about working in New Orleans? I'm directionally challenged. Driving to unfamiliar places is a nightmare for someone like me because I get so easily lost, especially a city like New Orleans where every other street seems to be one-way. Hell, I get lost on the Westbank, and I grew up there! If it weren't for the wonders of GPS, I'd never make it out of my driveway. Once I've driven to a particular destination a few-cough, hundred, sputter-times, I'm good. Once I learn the route, as long as I stick to the same roads every time, I won't need the GPS. Eventually. If, however, there's something like a marathon that closes most of the street I need to use to get to my destination like say, ALL OF FREAKIN' POYDRAS, then I have a problem.

The first time this happened to me, I was lucky. I had convinced my boyfriend to drop me off that day because it was his day off and I was tired and lazy and my boyfriend is easily plied with promises of sex. I don't think he will be so easy to ply in the future considering the annoyance that followed. Poydras was closed. All of it. He took another route, took some side streets, got me as close to the hotel as he could get, and let me out right in front of the building-which, by the way, I didn't realize I was standing in front of until he rolled down the window and pointed at it in exasperation, probably wishing he was dating a woman who came with a GPS device installed in her brain pan instead of Ryoga, the perpetually lost girl.

Those of you who watch anime will totally get that last reference.

That was the first time. It certainly wasn't the last. There seems to be a lot of marathons in New Orleans as of late. It's one of the reasons I leave for work early. That, and I'm paranoid I'm going to be held up by Superdome traffic or abducted by aliens or sasquatch or some damn thing. I try to keep myself informed about events in the area, but yesterday, I was caught off guard when I came to the Poydras exit to find it blocked by police cars. I had forgotten to watch the news that morning. If I had, I would have know that the entire street was closed all the way up to Magazine due to the Run For the Goal Line 5K Run. Sigh.

I drove around blindly, searching for any street that would get me close to my destination, hampered by a GPS constantly trying to get me to that destination via my usual route-did I mention I'm technologically challenged? Yes. I am chock full of irritating quirks of uselessness. I finally got fed up when I became trapped on a one-way street by a streetcar that couldn't move because it too was blocked by parade barriers. Luckily, there was a pay-for-parking lot right next to me. It was like they KNEW! Irritated, I paid the fifteen bucks to park in the lot, slammed my door closed, and got out to trek the seven blocks it would take to get to work, cursing under my breath and glaring at the runners as I went. I wasn't alone. There were others just like me spitting and cursing and glaring as they went by while those marathon jerks jaunted down the street, happy as sweaty clams.

As I plodded along, it occurred to me there had to be some sinister purpose behind all this running. Perhaps the participants are all a part of some dastardly plot to take over the city using EMP's to make our cars useless hunks of metal while we non-runners walk around in a confused daze without transportation or a means of escape. Easy targets. Don't think I don't know what you're up to, marathon runners! I'm wise to you now.

Beware: The Enemy!